Gregory Peck stars as a Royal Canadian Air Force pilot serving in the RAF in the Burma campaign in the closing months of the Second World War, who is battling with depression after having lost his wife to German bombing in London.
27 August 2023 | James Porteous | Clipper Media News
At the end of World War II in Burma, Canadian Royal Air Force pilot Forrester (Gregory Peck) is a loner whose bravery can’t cover a streak of reckless instability. When his actions cause an injury, he is nearly transferred, but Dr. Harris (Bernard Lee) recommends pulling him from duty, due to the emotional trauma he’s suffered.
Forrester then accompanies Harris to a Christian missionary outpost, where he meets Anna (Win Min Than) and begins to find interest in living again.
The following written acknowledgment appears in the opening credits: “The Producers of this film gratefully acknowledge the co-operation received from the Air Ministry and members of the Royal Air Force.”
According to a Mar 1954 NYT article, The Purple Plain was filmed on location near Sigiriya, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), which had earlier served as a location for several other motion pictures. Interiors were shot in London.
The Royal Air Force was credited in the article for donating three Mosquito bombers as well as R.A.F. personnel from nearby Singapore.
The NYT article indicates that production was delayed by tropical rains for several weeks, which necessitated a relocation from the original filming site.
According to the article, the Mosquito bomber plane used for the crash scene was shipped to the location from London, and as it had been stripped of its engines, cost the production only thirty-five dollars.
The article also noted that Lyndon Brook, who played “Carrington,” was the son of actor Clive Brook. Lyndon Brook appeared in a bit role in a 1942 film under the name Clive Brook, Jr.
- Gregory Peck as Squadron Leader Bill Forrester
- Win Min Than as Anna
- Maurice Denham as Flight Lieutenant Blore
- Lyndon Brook as Flying Officer Carrington (navigator)
- Brenda De Banzie as Miss McNab
- Bernard Lee as Dr. Harris
- Anthony Bushell as Wing Commander Aldridge
- Josephine Griffin as Mrs. Forrester
- Ram Gopal as Mr. Phang
- Dorothy Alison as Nurse
- Peter Arne as Flight Lieutenant
- Jack McNaughton as Sergeant Brown
- Lane Meddick as Radio operator
- Harold Siddons as Navigator Williams
- John A. Tinn as Burmese jeweler